Chukwudi Akasike, Port Harcourt
Gunmen invaded Chokocho in the Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State on Sunday morning and killed five persons before leaving the vicinity unchallenged.
Some of the victims, who were shot on Chokocho Bridge, were said to have fallen into the river.
The incident, according to a source from the area, had caused panic among motorists and passersby.
It was gathered that the community had also insisted that a local vigilante group in the state known as Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Security Peace and Advisory Committee, simply called OSPAC, were behind the shooting that claimed the lives of five persons.
Confirming the incident, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, disclosed that some of the bodies were recovered from the Chokocho River in Etche.
Omoni explained that some of the bodies were already decomposing when they were recovered by the police, adding that the attack on Sunday continued till Monday morning.
“Five persons were shot dead in Etche. We have recovered five corpses this (Monday) evening. They were killed by yet-to-be identified gunmen. Though people were insinuating that OSPAC members were involved, we should not begin to guess in this type of situation.
“Some of the bodies were recovered from the river. They were attacked on Chokocho Bridge. Some of them were shot and they fell into the river. Some of the bodies have even started decomposing.
“It happened on Sunday morning and it spilled over to today (Monday). The community said it is OSPAC, but OSPAC does not have the right to kill,” the state police spokesman added.
Omoni, however, disclosed that the state Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura, had ordered a thorough investigation into the incident.
He said, “Investigation has been ordered by the Commissioner of Police. So, at the end of the week, we will begin to know the real identities of the killers. We are also investigating to know the circumstances surrounding the killings.”
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